Before and After Bathroom Renovation

Sorry for the radio silence you guys! Jay and I have been working like mad beasts to get this bathroom finished so you can see a good before and after bathroom renovation and we’ve been pretty consumed with a world full of tile and toilets as of late. Very glamorous 😀

So, this is the official shot of the bath before, pre-demo days.

Bathroom Upstairs Before

It was fine, really, and in complete honesty we could have just cleaned the hello dolly out of it and bought a nice shower curtain and called it done. But I knew sooner or later I’d want to gut this baby, and my mantra is “no time better than the present” 😉

Plus, my kid sister Rachel is moving in next week (WHHAA??) and Jay and I have been using the bath off her room for the past 6-months, so we wanted to spruce up this upstairs bath so that we had a nicer place to suds up in the am.

My biggest beef with this space was that it was just ugly, and not really my jam.

Black Diamond Tile in Tub

It was redone (to look vintage) sometime in the 90’s. As we started in on the demo work for the bathroom renovation, we realized how poorly the work had been done, which made me feel better about ripping it all out 🙂

Although it may be functional, another ugly vote (in my book) was the ginormous mirror that took up half the bathroom. Oh, and the light about it, not so much man, not so much.

Large Bathroom Mirror

For the last few months I have been scrubbing lots and lots in this room, and there are certain stains that just did not want to budge. Kinda gross, kinda ugly.

Updating Tile

And overall, it just felt like the room was getting eaten up by stained tile. On the walls, in the tub, it was just a bit overwhelming.

Another annoying detail – the only storage – in the entire bathroom – was this little rinky dink medicine cabinet.

White Medicine Cabinet

It just wasn’t a very functional space, so you know me, I got the itch to fix it.

Here is my inspiration board for the space. We’re finishing up the tile work today, and I should definitely have some details on the space for you next week! 😀 WOOT!

Bathroom Renovation

Want to see the full before and after bathroom renovation, go here.

Bathroom Beautification

Sometimes I get all gang busters on a room, and I forget to swing back through for some of the finishing details. Guess I’m a bit big picture that way. Plus, I  like being efficient, which often (in my head) means moving on over to the next space. Take the the downstairs bathroom for instance. Last winter, we had lots of fun turning it from this:

How to remove bathroom tile

To this:

Herringbone Subway Tile

Side view:

Traditional Marble Bathroom

But now that we’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting in our house, I’m starting to come back through areas that were feeling a bit incomplete.

Like this area of the bathroom. A wee sparse, ya think.

Art Work in Small Bathroom

And the best part? I’ve actually had this artwork right under my nose the whole stinkin’ time. Geesh.

One night I was shuffling through one of our junk drawers and I came across two dainty little botanical prints. I was all, shiver me timbers, where are these from matey? (I’m writing this post on Halloween – a pirate just came to the door – what can I say). 😀

Antique Botanical Prints

And then it hit me, ah YES. These are remnants from our art collage in the dining room. We made an executive decision at the time that our collage was going to look too rectangular with (8) prints across, so we decided to keep things simple and only put (6) up. Past Mary looking out for Future Mary – I love when that happens.


We also had grabbed a few frames on a prior run to HomeGoods so we were all systems go in that department as well. Sa-wweeettt!.

Gold Frames in Bathroom

Since I’m a HomeGoods addict (seriously, I think I need a support group) I also decided to pick up this purty little number to add to our basket stash. At $4.99, I couldn’t pass it up.

Ah, yes, well on our way to a pretty potty.

  Small Natural Fiber Basket

Here is a shot of the art work (and basket) in action. Smokin’!

Botanical Art Work in Bathroom

Our loo is becoming quite the looker post the art addition 😀 In case you needed some persuading …

Seriously – not sure what took us so long! Especially since these prints have just been chillaxin’ in a basement drawer.

Adding Art to Small Bathroom

Speaking of adding art to our abode, we’ve got another great giveaway lined up for Wednesday! Swing back for a chance to win an awesome print from uplift prints! Feast your eyes, America, on some of the loot you can snag below!

Jeremiah 29 11 verse



All, Or Nothing, or Half

So … confession. Remember when I told you all about our attic insulating bonanza and how great it was and how warm we’d be and how cheap it was. The thing I left out in this insulation love fest was that this hairy beast took WAY longer than either of us ever anticipated. Every. single. night. has been dedicated to this attic for the past 2-weeks. It’s been a dragola. Mainly because insulation is boring and it’s not fun to spend 2,000 years on a project that makes babies cry. From boredom.

To deal with my inner pain of having to wait it out to move on to any of the fun stuff, I’ve decided to dream away my days and try to hammer out what the upstairs bathroom will look like. Can’t help it, I’m a big picture type of girl. Once we finish this insulation (please Lord, let us finish) we’ll be lobbing off a chunk of the room to dedicated space for our fancy flusher water closet. A holy grail for our porcelain potty if you will, a la this photo.

Converting Attic to Master Suite

Dimensions wise, this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of the floor space that will be used-up to pop in this new bath of ours. Right now, the room’s dimensions are around 17′ x 11′, not including the long hall adjacent to the stairs where our closets will be. Now, for comparison, our current bedroom is 9′ x 11′, so we pretty much feel like we are moving into the Taj Mahal. Shwanky.

After we chunk off a piece for the bath, we will be looking at a room that’s 12′ x 11′, which in old house talk, means giant. We’ve got a few options for what the bath will look like, too.

Bathroom Options

Option #1 gives us a walk-in shower, similar to this bathroom. Walk-in shower and my house are never two words I thought I’d hear mashed together. It gives me the jitters. The good kind.

Option #2, gives us a double vanity. That’s two sinks, in one bathroom. That’s crazy talk. Crazy delicious talk. Omitting the plumbing for a shower is also kind of appealing.

If we go small, Option #3, we’d also have room for a wee little sitting nook over looking the neighborhood. So quaint and cozy. I can just see myself curled up with a book now.

So much to ponder, my heads a spinning. To help me visualize some of our lovely options, I took to my dear friend photoshop and started a workin’.

Marble Bathroom Mood Board

I’m a sucker for marble, that’s fo shizzle. A marble mosaic floor and some grass cloth wall paper. Yes sirree Bob. Sign me up brotha!! As you can see, I opted for the double vanity in this first rendition. I think I would just stand there and high five Jay while I brushed my teeth. The whole time.

Since you bump into yourself in our current teeth brushing space, having 11 FEET to crank our elbows around would be like the best thing ever.

Marble Bathroom Mood Board

Since I’m a hard core fan of a gray vanity (like our downstairs bath) I thought I’d switch up the first little photo op with a gray option. Yummmy. Maybe some darker details with a black or ORB frame. You picking up what I’m putting down?

If we went the small, cozy route, I think that I’d do a white plank wall to add some rustic character to the space. Perhaps something like this.

White Plank Bathroom

It’s fun to try out different options and see which one strikes my fancy the most. After lots of chatting with the hubster, I think we are leaning toward the double sink option since it will give us lots of elbow room, while having pretty straight forward plumbing to work with.

Although it would be nice to have a shower, we’ve already got two in the house, and there are only two of us … We don’t have any double sinks though, so that won the roll of the dice! Next steps:

  1. Hiring Plumber to do rough-ins
  2. Framing and drywalling bath
  3. Purchasing the fixtures
  4. Installing them!

Ya know, pretty much everything. 😉 Help us decide! Which bathroom option do you think is best?

Bathroom Options

Fancy Flusher

The downstairs bathroom has been looking pretty swankified since we wrapped up on our reno a few months back, but alas, different projects started calling our name and left a few essentials untouched. Like the mirror for instance. Yes, our bathroom sat like this, sans mirror for 3-months. Sometimes, ya just lose your mojo.

Marble Tile Bathroom

The other thing that was kind of driving me bonkers was the curly cue toilet handle we had on the loo. Fancy shmancy, but not our taste, per say. Here it is stinking out like a (gold) thumb on the side of our ceramic white bowl. Time for the heeve ho.

Hex Marble Floor Tile

Since we had 5% cash back on our credit card at Lowes when we purchased our kitchen cabinets, I was pleasantly surprised to see some extra dolla billz in our rewards account this month. We like to use the rewards balance to get gift cards for things we know we will already be needing/wanting around this joint, so I decided to cash in $25 for a Lowes gift card. You better bet we’ll have that one spent before someone can say Davey Crocket. Did you just say it – cause we’ve already spent it. Word.

Turns out, in addition to being totally not our taste, the handle was also rusted and corroded on the inside of the tank, so we’ll just say this was a “necessary” home improvement vs. aesthetic. 😉

How to Install Toilet Handle

We were headed to bed last week, and since I thought this little house “to-do” would take 5 minutes or less, I asked the hubster if he wouldn’t mind just popping on the new handle. Since it would only take 5 minutes … Because it was super corroded on the inside though, this little task landed up taking a wee bit longer. 😉 Can you see the green spots of corrosion on the handle inside the tank? Unfortunately, all the wear and tear meant that instead of just using a wrench to loosen the handle connection, we had to basically break off the metal handle from the fixture attached inside the tank. Although we always try to give our house parts a second life by selling them on craigslist, or repurposing them, this little man was on his way to toilet handle heaven. RIP.

How to remove toilet handle

About 20 minutes of working on the handle later (really there wasn’t anything highly technical about how we removed the handle, so I omitted those “steps”, since it was really just working, and working, and working at it with the wrench… :)) we were ready to install the new guy, which was as simple as reattaching the handle to the “float” (which is what bobs up and down in the tank), and then fastening the nut on the inside to the tank with a wrench.

Installing new toilet handle

Voila!! Looking much better, no? That’s a fancy flusher for ya.

Moen Brushed Nickel Toilet Handle

The next night, we decided to move on to installing the new mirror. Now, I’d been searching for a while for a mirror, and in complete honesty, I really didn’t find anything that was calling my name. Since nothing was jumping out at me, and we really needed to solve our mirrorless b-room dilemma, I decided to go plain jane (for now) and just get a beveled one that will do it’s jobs without any of the frills. Basically, what a mirror should do.

Plus, when we were out and about, I spotted this mirror, for only $14.98. Score. My general thoughts are that if something else comes down in the line in a few months or a year, I won’t feel too bad about replacing a fifteen dollar mirror. Plus, for now I’m actually digging the clean lines that it adds to the space. Not crazy town about the little pegs that hold the mirror up on the sides, but for the price, I can’t complain.

Traditional Marble Bathroom

Now I’m thinking the final details for this space are some art work above the toilet, and perhaps a wee little basket for some hand towels as well.

Artwork Above Toilet




Can You Ever Have Enough Baskets?

The answer is no, you can never have enough baskets. Jay seems to think I have some type of rare basket buying disease because he scratches his head and looks quizzical every time I tell him it’s time to hop in the car and go to HomeGoods – we’ve got a basket shortage!

He has developed a twitch for those words. bbaaassskkkeeettts. Are you reading this, Jay? I’m taunting you. See, on the contrary, I’ve developed a twitch for any article that is haphazardly placed in a closet or vanity that is not in it’s gosh darn rightful place. Take for example, our basement bathroom vanity. The quintessential picture of an organized home. 😉

Organizing Bathroom Vanity

Let’s just say, I couldn’t have anymore of it. There are reasons why the vanity looks like this, namely because we have been so God forsaken tired with all the other projects that we just decided to throw everything in there and wait until a door broke from the pressure. Turns out I couldn’t wait that long, I had to conquer that beast of a mess. So when we went to HomeGoods to get some baskets for the new kitchen layout, we came out with a few borderline candidates that we liked the look of, but we weren’t sure if they would fit. They didn’t fit. All a part of my plot to get more baskets. Baa haa haa. Covert basket mission – success.

After some re-configuring and tossing, we landed up with this. I can actually find my hair blow dryer without having to empty half the contents of the cabinet now. That is a step in the right direction, my friends.

Bathroom Organization

The bathroom also got another upgrade when I was out and about shopping for our dining room chairs. Check out this little beauty. Got it for 8 BUCKS on the clearance rack at Target. It was sitting right next to all the Paula Dean pots and pans. 😉 I had my eye on this guy when it was selling for $30, so I was mighty pleased to snag it at this rock bottom price. $8, I can handle that.

Botanical Chart Print

And (general trend) once I start doing one thing in a room, I inadvertently notice some other “details” that got passed up the first time around. Like this chunk of paint that we (I) forgot to get to. Ugg. There is that lime green paint mocking me.

Benjamin Moore Northern Cliffs

Or the quarter round that got installed, but never got painted and caulked. MMmmm yeah. Pesky little details. Since I’m not crazy about how the trim around the cabinets look anyway, I think we will go ahead and replace that chunk, and bring it around the cabinet base. It’s hard to know on a cabinet whether to go with the cabinet color, or the trim color. Since the floor is pretty light though, I think we can get away with bringing the trim around the cabinet in white. Any thoughts?

Oh and in case you didn’t notice, yes, that is a dead spider on the tile. 😉 Guess I can add CLEANING the bathroom to the list of things to do, too.

Quarter Round On Cabinet

After some extra paint and caulk, here is the end cap now. Not perfect, but at least it isn’t bare wood now. 😉

How to Paint Corner

And our little green corner is no more.

How to Paint Trim

Although all rooms are a constantly moving target around here, I think the last things on our official check list for this room (right now) are adding some more artwork, getting a new light fixture, and possible replacing the vanity top.



Did I mention I like Marble?

Before the bathroom overhaul began, we had a stained wood window sill in the bathroom. The first time a took a shower in this bathroom, it was pretty obvious that a wood window sill, in a shower, was not a good idea. Especially for the actual sill, we knew that we wanted something that would be more waterproof, like marble for instance. Being the sucker I am for this beau-ti-ful little stone, I try to add marble anywhere in the house I can, so let’s just say it wasn’t a hard sell 🙂 Here’s a shot of the bathroom window prior to the reno.

Wood Window Sill
Bathroom Window Sill Before

Once we removed the trim from around the window, we got to cleaning up the space a bit, to make sure the new marble sill sat on there nicely without catching on anything. Jay just grabbed his chisel to even things out a bit, and to get rid of extra residue that was hanging around after the trim removal.

How to install a marble window sill
Cleaning up the Window Sill

After the area was cleaned up, we tried a few different options to see which one we like the most aesthetically. We tried bumping it out a bit, to mimic an actual window sill, like the picture below, but found in the end that we preferred the sill to match up with the trim, vs. hang over. Plus, it was easier for Jay to cut it that way, so he got two votes. 🙂

How to install a marble window sill
Marble Window Sill

After we had our configuration determined, all we had to do was cut it. Well measure it, then cut it. First, we cut the edges off to get it to the right size. The speed square we used for the tile install came in super handy here, since it was a straight edge we could easily grab for and know the line would be straight.

How to install a marble window sill
Cutting the Marble

Then, we had to just notch out a small piece, so that the marble sill would be able to sit in the window. Here is a close up of where the sill is sitting, you can see how there is a section that is a bit deeper, which is where the actual ledge rests on the window. It bumps out again about an inch after the window surround, so we had to cut of a small piece to fit it in correctly. Looks awfully lovely without the trim on, huh? 🙂 At least we have a boat load of insulation now, though! It makes my heart happy to know this bathroom will be nice and toasty. Might not be the prettiest thing, but I’m sure glad is chilling under the trim.

How to install a window sill
Window Surround

After notching off a square along the back end to make the sill fit, we just coaxed it into place, slapped some mortar on it and called it a day! I’m pretty pumped to see how this will look with the trim installed around it, but for now, at least it looks like progress. And progress, is good. Oh, and for a bit of a cost break down, since we already had the mortar for the tile reno, this little DIY project only set us back $12.99. Yep, you heard it here first folks, $12.99 for a hunka hunka burning marble. That’s what I’m talking about!!

How to install a marble window sill
Marble Window Sill

Bathroom Plans: The BIG Picture

Now that I gave you a glimpse of the bathroom floor, I figured I should spill the beans on the overall look we are going for in the room. I’ve been dreaming of this bathroom for a looonnnggg time. The first house was the guinnea pig, and now I’m ready to seal the deal and I think that this time we can make it happen. It helps that this house has more than ONE shower, so we can take more than a week to bust this beast out. My plan is for us to take our time with this one so we can get the right results.

For this home, we are looking for a serene and tranquil bathroom experience. This bathroom is tight and every inch of space needs to be utilized to the MAX. Right now there is just a dingy little shelf that is the only storage location for things in the bathroom and that just leads to obscene amounts of clutter – it’s not pretty. Although the dimensions on this sketch are not 100% accurate (the computer program would not all me to customize all the dimensions) here is an idea of the footprint we are currently working with:

Small Bathroom Layout
Downstairs Bathroom

The sink obviously does not take up that much room, but as you can see, we don’t have a lot of space to work with. Especially since we need to actually ADD storage, because this bathroom is just not functioning at the moment. Here is the mood board I made for the bathroom to give you an idea for the look and feel we are going for. White marble will definitely be the base of the room, with some gold and polished nickel accents throughout the room.

Marble bathroom, antique bronze, polished nickel
Bathroom Mood Board

Right now, the biggest hurtles between our current crappola bathroom, and my swanky vision is a hunka hunka pile of money (mainly! 😉 and a few details that we are still not sure about regarding storage. Since the space is so. darn. small. it is really hard to find functioning storage, that doesn’t take up so much of the footprint that it is intrusive. We’ve already got the tile, mentioned here, so our to-do list for this bathroom is currently looking like this:

  1. Rip out the current tile
  2. Install backer board for new tile
  3. Replace existing sink
  4. Determine storage solution, install storage
  5. Install new tile surround in tub
  6. Install new flooring
  7. Paint baseboard trim
  8. Install final details (lighting, mirror, etc)

Right now, our budget for the space is $1,500, which is way more than we have ever spent on a bathroom, in complete honesty! BUT this is our main house bathroom, and I really want this room to shine, so we are pulling out all the stops (and our pocketbooks) to make it a gem. Consumer Reports estimates that average cost for a mid-range bathroom reno is $16,000 with upscale Masters costing as much as $52,000 (WHATTT!!!!), so if we can make this a space fit for a Grecian goddess for $1,500 buckaroos, I’ll have a smile on my face. Actually, I probably won’t be smiling until the memory of my wallet hemorrhaging is well in my past, but long term, I am pretty pumped about this room’s potential. We will do an entire budget breakdown of the process once everything is said and done. Hopefully, the process isn’t too painful, and hopefully, it looks as gorgeous as the bathroom below when we are done!

White Marble Bathroom Inspiration
White Marble Bathroom Inspiration